If we are lucky, we have moments of grace when all feels right in our world, resonating as peace in our heart.
I was feeling raw and slipping into depression, then I read another post by Stacy. Her post reminded me about the power of intention, choice and accepting responsibility. The photo was taken at our local Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks in another moment of grace from last month.
I still feel raw, but I also feel more hopeful and empowered to make choices that lead me in the directions I want to go. One of those directions is compassion and love for myself. I realized that I was feeling down partly due to the judgemental inner voices about my life. So I offered myself some compassion. Writing about my feelings is also part of my desire for authenticity, connection and care. In other words, listening to and honoring my feelings.
For a little background. I have wrestled with depression for most of my life. The only stretches of my life that I recall more continuous joy were from 1990-1994 while traveling and then living in Boulder, CO. Then again for a brief few months in 2010 while living in Madison, WI. The common threads from those times seem to be following my dreams and passions, living fully, reaching out more to people, traveling and being physically active. All things that I value, so my life was more aligned with my values and passions, which is a good recipe for living. For more on alignment, explore Eric Tonningsen’s blog covering topics like awareness, meaning and living our values.
During the last 4 years since moving back to Fayetteville, my life has been in a downhill slide emotionally and financially. I’ve lost 80% of my savings due to poor investment choices. My social circles and friendships are shrinking, and I have no job or income. Mostly, I’ve been isolating, getting stuck in negative thinking, depressed feelings and taking little action to make things different in my life. The one bright spot has been my blog. I am very grateful for the creative expression and most of all, the connections and sharing with kind souls around the planet. Thank you for your support!
I continually feel an urge to travel the world, but have not allowed myself to travel much since the early 90s, even when I had the money. Now that I don’t have much money left, it seems prudent to save it for rainy days and retirement. Not traveling when I had the funds is one of my big regrets. I also struggle with a perceived lack of purpose. I believe my general purpose is to be love, and more specifically, to inspire and connect as I do with my writing and blog. But truthfully, I don’t have a clear sense of the rightness of these as my purpose.
With no clear goals, intentions or purpose, it is very hard to measure any kind of progress or success in life.
This is the crux of my life situation. For most of 2014, I’ve been focusing on self love and compassion as my values and intentions. And I believe that I’ve made progress, but how do you measure love? I feel more accepting of myself, yet still feel the urge to live more fully. Maybe my heart is asking me to explore and discover my deepest desires. Maybe inner exploration can be my new course of “travel”; to continue exploring my inner worlds, mining the jewels of inner light, love and wisdom.
Decisions have been another big challenge for me. So where am I going with this post? Much like my life, it’s hard to tell. All I know, is that I will keep moving forward as best I can. I will practice listening for my heart’s desires, setting intentions and taking actions to align my life with those heart whispers.
I pray for more grace, peace and trust. After letting this post sit for a day, I can see how I still cling to my sad stories which is part of what I’m learning to change (to keep bringing my focus back to things that I do want). Thankfully, I was also reminded yesterday to create a new story that is empowering. So my story, like life, continues…Next up is lessons from the fall.
Thank you for your continued support, especially those who reach out a helping hand to add a little comfort, inspiration and grace to my life. Blessings, Brad.